To Fight the Fight, or Not

Clint Hester Finishes his Opponent at Wild Bills Fight Night

This question is one that I have struggled with. I have a real problem with the fairness of things, or more the unfairness. The system ultimately stands on these three principles. One, the children’s best interest is the underlying right that trumps all other rights. I have seen this through the process, and its is the giant hammer to smash all problems. Two, the mother is generally considered a better arbiter of the children’s best interest than anyone else involved, and the experts will back this up. Three, it is all actually about child support.

My first point is this. The children’t best interest is strong enough to strip everyone else of their rights. You may not know it, because it only becomes an issue in divorce and a few other more obscure child welfare type cases, but the children have a right to a portion of your income. That’s right, they don’t just have a right to the benefits that you bestow upon them as a parent, but a right to the actual income. This of course is child support. The child’s best interest determines whether a father or mother are allowed to be involved in the child’s life. Some might say this is right and correct. With what I have seen in the system, and I have seen a lot. I have adopted kids through foster care. The bar needs to be raised. The bar should require criminal negligence of some sort to remove kids from a parent. I am sorry, but children are raised in imperfect circumstances all the time all over the world, and guess what. Many of them grow up through those circumstances to be great leaders. You might even argue that they grow up to be great leaders because of those circumstances. Another right your children are bestowed, but you may not about is lifestyle. The kids have a right to maintain a certain lifestyle. Without divorce, you wouldn’t know this, because most kids don’t know how to advocate for themselves through the system, but the principle comes into play during divorce. One parent is deemed the keeper of the kids lifestyle, and thus they get all the benefits after divorce of maintaining that lifestyle, while the other parent is required to continue to fund a lifestyle they are not able to maintain for themselves. I read comments on blogs a lot, and the underlying argument used by many, is that we, NCPs (generally fathers), should be happy our children our being taken care of. The truth is, I expect no less. My children deserve to be taken care of. I am also fully capable of doing so. I am not only capable of doing so, but capable of doing so with my own income and resources all by myself. The system generally punishes the parent who can say that. The other parent will receive control of the kids, and get the benefits of the children’s lifestyle. In the name of the children’s best interest, one parent is chosen to outrank the other, and the other parent is quite literally indentured to the other parent until such time the children are considered legally emancipated from their parents. The court does so very pragmatically. They seem to be looking out for the children on the surface. The truth is the court is actually trying to limit whether or how often the parties return. When one parent is so substantially limited in their spending abilities and power over the children as an authority in their life, then it less likely that disputes will return to court. This is at least the theory that they operate on. The truth is that a few years after divorce the parenting time and arguments have usually subsided when both parents are granted equal access and control or authority in the children’s lives. This does not mean that each parent takes equal responsibility, but that things work themselves out in a way both parents are happy with the resolution. This leads to better outcomes for the kids. When the court chooses sides, the parents are more likely to spend more time in court, and ultimately this is money in the bank for lawyers and court systems, so they aren’t really motivated to limit conflict.

The second point is that the mother is generally considered better at determining what is best for the children. I will agree on the principle, but not on the importance of the idea. Mother’s most definitely look out for the children’s needs as children. Father’s on the other hand take on the task of raising adults. It is the combination of the two ideals that benefit the children. Ours society is full of overgrown children. They are healthy and unproductive. They spend their time doing thing of no value. Our society has also neutered fathers in every family law case I know of. It is a father who divvies out the harsh punishments. It is a father who demands that a child participate in taking care of the business of the house. It is the father that children run to when they have made a major mistake and need the hard, and sometimes cold, solutions that a father provides. When the father is shutout, or limited in his authority in his kids lives, they lose this. I will talk about how this is true in my family later. The mother is the nurturer. She provides an important factor to raising kids, even older ones, but without the God designed balance in the kids lives, then they will be well nurtured and cared for, and totally incapable of taking on the world on their own. Like I said before, I struggle with the unfairness of it all. I also have to face the realities presented to me. I am not going to get a fair deal. I am still my kids father. I am going to live my life without a significant portion of my income. I will have to tell my kids no, when I should be able to say yes, but finances won’t allow it. I know plenty of people with less money, but it is terribly frustrating to have less income at my disposal than my ex earns, while she has more income at her disposal than I earn. The courts have more than reversed our incomes and granted her control. She will, even with her limited capacity, nurture my children. She won’t raise them into adults. That will probably happen when the kids are legally adults, and she becomes tired of them. They will run to me, and I will have to give them a serious dose of reality. I will care for them, but with heavy hand. I will be more the mentor than the father at that time. I will have to teach them how to be adults in a very short period of time. For some of them, this will be an easy challenge, and for others this will be miserably difficult.

The third point is the most true. All the rationalizing in the other two are really for the purpose of this one. Child support is king. The states earn money by collecting child support. They get money from the payors and payees for handling the transaction. In some states this is a pretty hefty percentage. In others, it is a flat fee. They get this for imposing themselves into the middle of the case. On top of that, they are being paid by the Federal government for collecting support. Child support falls in the category of welfare. Part of the legal underpinnings of child support is that the mother has been abandoned and the father is not taking responsibility for the children. The courts artificially create an abandonment scenario in most cases, just so long as one of the parents wants to push it. This allows them to impose child support. Child support is in part punitive for abandoning your children and wife. Modern divorce of course is driven by women. Women don’t want to be in the confines of their marriage, and thus step out. The courts allow them to do so, and yet maintain their lifestyle, so long as their are children involved to justify it. The actual and marginal expenses of my children do not equal what I pay in child support. This includes their lifestyle expenses. She is never called upon to use her income to fund the children. Yes the calculators make it appear that she does, but if you look at how the formulas work, then you will see that it has very little effect on the numbers how much she earns. The payor’s income is the primary determining factor of child support. I have my children nearly equal time, but not equal enough any more. I have to maintain a home and feed them, and all the other things that a parent does for their children. None of this matters. I have to figure out how to do that on what I have left. I am amazed at how many men figure this out. It is a testament to how men operate, that they figure this out. Statistics show time and time again that years out from divorce, men are winning, and women are not. How can this be. There is only one way that this can be. Men are stronger emotionally and intellectually. I am not making a judgement based on sex, but more on the fact that society does not save men from failing. This forces them to be stronger. In the same way that father’s make their children stronger. When people look at divorce reform, and how to make things better for everyone, they need to look at child support and alimony. These transfers of wealth are the single biggest drivers in frivolous divorce. They are also the primary drivers in most litigation in divorce. If child support is more clearly defined as to what it is supposed to fund, and then the calculations are based on funding those things, they numbers will go down. Men will be able to be active providers in their children’s lives, and they will tend to disappear less from their children’s lives.

As to the question posed in the title. To fight or not. Well that one is harder to address. I have lost a lot of money fighting. I have lost my time fighting. I have lost my authority fighting. I am not sure any of it was worth it. I was a bit delusional in believing that the the rules and legislation from the state government would give me a leg to stand on. The courts are still pretty autonomous, and they make their decisions as they see fit. Understanding that no one in the higher courts wants to deal with domestic issues helps to put in perspective that the family courts are given a tremendous amount of freedom in these cases. The other thing that rules the day, and allows for the courts to do as they please is the concept of “The Best Interest of the Child”. This is a concept that is self contained in your case,so it can’t include all children that are connected to the case. It can only involve the children of the parties that are sharing parenting. So a man with 3 kids by 3 mothers can end up in 3 different courts, with 3 different and possibly contradicting definitions being applied to the case under the guise of the “Best Interest of the Child.” In my case the best interest of one child is being held up above the best interests of the other children. He rules the day. This would be my oldest son, who without remorse sexually abused a kid half his age. My lack of warmth towards him is what matters most to the court. My desire to protect the other kids from his is deemed harmful by the court, because it hurts him. This is the standard that we are abiding by in family court. If we were married, we could petition the state to take him back into their care. He is demonstrating psychological disorders that we were not prepared to deal with. I might sound cold in saying this, and it doesn’t demonstrate the entirety of my feelings, but the state gave us a problem to deal with so they didn’t have to, and we are not well equipped to deal with that problem, so they should shoulder the responsibility of that problem. I love my son. A day doesn’t go by, where I don’t think about him, and grieve the loss of seeing him grow into the man who could be. I hope that he turns his life around, but all I see is patterns of him never taking responsibility for his actions. Life happens to him. I know how easy it is to fall into that trap. I have done it through the divorce process. I am now looking to take control of what I have control over, and move on. It pains me that so much control has been stripped from me, but these are the cards that I am dealt. Much of it is un-American, but that doesn’t change reality. I do my best. I am working at not taking pleasure in the idea that she will fail in the long run, because its not good for me. It will be even worse for me, if she doesn’t fail, and figures it out. The one thing, I will take from this is, I will not be friends with my ex when this is all done. I do not relish major events where I get pushed to the side, so the kids can please their mother. I know that their life is not as good as I could provide in my own home. I will not thank her for raising my kids, regardless of the responsibility she takes. I won’t because, I did not choose this. I would gladly raise my kids in my home. I would provide for them from my checkbook. Instead my kids don’t know or understand that I am still their provider. That I pay enough in child support to pay their mothers rent and utilities with money left over for the car payment. That all they have in their mothers home is in part paid for by me. This makes me sad, but there is nothing I can do about it.

I am done fighting. I will take what I can with my kids. I am not allowed to give them responsibilities in my house. I am relegated to a hotel to provide babysitting services, so their mom gets a break. A privilege I get to pay for. They won’t understand this for years, if ever. I can’t let them watch the step-sibling, even for a brief amount of time. I can’t leave them home alone, even though they are old enough to care for themselves for a few hours, and the autonomy teaches them responsibility. I cannot ask them to do chores, because they feel like servants in my home. The fight has cost me additional freedom beyond what divorce cost me to begin with. My only words of advice to men is they should go nuclear from the start. Don’t worry about your parenting relationship with the your ex. You can try and mend that later. She is unlikely to hold back, and you are likely to end up right where I am at. Women have the advantage, so don’t be afraid to paint the picture of her as a monster. Win the war, then be fair in your treatise. That is the only way to engage family court. I also want to scream at the top of my lungs for men to start fighting the fight before they are facing divorce. Get your representatives to change the standards for family court, and to put teeth in the laws they are writing. Get them to require that criminal actions that affect the children be involved to limit the time a dad has with his kids. With the most recent ruling. I have only seen my kids a few days in the last month and a half. This is not right, but it there is nothing I can do to change it. My only recourse is the courts, and they are not likely to defend my or my children, for they have taken the stand already on behalf of my children in favor of their mother. I will not fight. It hurts too much. I am working on creating ways to connect with my kids, so that they still come to me on their own. I will write about some of those next.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Done fighting, sorta

FINISH HER!

I can’t win my case. The GAL carries too much weight. I have been threatened if I don’t agree to a standard schedule, which in my state is every other weekend and one night a week that the following may happen. His report will recommend that I have less than every other weekend., and that the judge may, and has decided that in similar cases to only allow supervised visitation. What have I done that is so horrible. Well, I have abandoned my oldest son. That’s awful, right. Well if you read my last and other posts, you know my oldest son has sexually molested a 7 now 8 year old boy in my house, and this is not the first time he has been sexually inappropriate. Lets get real here. He held a 7 year old autistic boy hostage in his room and forced him to give him oral sex and attempted(maybe succeeded) in having anal sex with this boy. He did this over a period of a couple of months, and he did so while threatening that I would go away if he told me or his mom the truth. To add to this. My son had done this before. Once where I knew and it was written off as something less serious. Another period happened, and I did not know about it. The GAL has stated because of the time over seven years before the most recent, I should have expected this. I am at part if not mostly at fault for a 13 now 14 year olds actions. Now I must say that if I expected this, I would never have allowed anyone to get to know me. I would have continued down a track of fucking women who drank hard liquor at the bar on my every other weekend.

Now when I say I am done fighting sorta, I mean that I have lost. I don’t know how far reaching his report is, but it kills me in my case. Sadly I have 3 children who are going to be devastated by the report. The did participate in the process and did not tell the truth out of fear of what their mother might do. I don’t blame them now, but I will have to tell them as they get older. I know how a BP can keep you in the FOG. I hope there is a way to gentle her spirit towards me and get more time, but I doubt it comes soon. I don’t know how this report will affect things like having another child or adopting another child. I have thought of it. My new SO is very different, and I like to believe that she would handle things different if we were to split. At the same time, I am afraid that she wouldn’t be. I within the next year I truly believe she is different, then I may get my vasectomy reversed for her, and then have another one. This sounds horrible, but I would truly love to raise a child from birth through high school, and I won’t get that anymore.

I also say sorta, because I plan on doing something to change this madness. I may write a book. I plan on finding media outlets to hear my story, and I plan on starting a charity to help men in need during custody disputes. This charity will help pay legal bills, have lawyers to refer, and have lots and lots of successful and not successful cases documented in a library. I may not be able to get this going for another decade, unless someone wants to step in and help me get it started, but I will do it. I am also going to aggressively pursue shared-parenting legislation with teeth. I am going to try and abolish the standard of “Best Interest of the Child”, title IV, and the Bradley amendment. All of these are killing men.

I further want to take things to the next level. I think fathers are important. I want to get to a point where fathers are guaranteed equal time, unless they are dangerous. In my case the only fault I have is with my oldest son. I don’t have contact with him. He is also not actually involved in the custody dispute. He is in state custody. The GAL believes he could be reformed and return. Then it would be unfair because he is not allowed back at my house. The truth is everyone expects that he will get in trouble and be moved to the detention center. The GAL has based his decision partly on the fact he might come “home”. He also has stated that he has seen far worse cases, and that I am unreasonable. I don’t know that I would react any different to the worst cases. My son crossed a line, and once crossed, I don’t feel safe with him. Sadly I had no control of my ex, so my kids are at risk with him through her, and since the GAL wants to limit access because of this, I have less time, thus leaving them at more risk. If I get less than the standard visitation, then I will likely move away. I am not a baby sitter for my kids. If i have no authority in their life, then I don’t want to be around for the problems that will come.

I am a firm believer that 50/50 is the best scenario for all parents. I believe that if you chose to have the child with someone, then they can’t be that bad to raise them together, even if you don’t like each other. Only if there is child abuse do I not support these ideas. The law should reflect that. Right now if the woman says they won’t work with the man, in most states, one way or another they will give her the dominant amount of time. This is not right, period.

The other piece of this is child support. To limit the incentive for custody battles. Child support should be eliminated. It should be replaced with a standard requirement for split expenses and rulings if one doesn’t pay. Any case that requires child support, should be a single judgement for half the amount of direct expenses ot raise a child in that community. This judgement should be outside title IV, and allow for it to be bankrupt-able, but also the first priority for payments in bankruptcy.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Another Way to Execute Child Support

Into the Rabbit Hole

I have been thinking about this idea. It isn’t completely flushed out as of yet. It stems from trying to find the middle ground on child support. Getting rid of the heavy handed approach that indentures one parent to the other through the children, but still allows for legally demanded funding for the children’s well being. I am not throwing away the core principle that I don’t believe that there is a way to administer child support that doesn’t limit the freedom of one of the parents involved.

So first lets get this out of the way. Women who aren’t married and having children should not be entitled to any support of any kind. I don’t say this with malice, just as a point in fact that they know what the behavior is to get pregnant, and they are the party with the most to lose financially by that decision. If they don’t know, I don’t care, the law should presume that someone old enough to have sex is also old enough to be informed. Our schools already do a pretty good job of making sure kids know this at a young age, whether you agree with that part of education or not, it is reasonable to assume that there is a basic core knowledge imparted to kids of a capable age that they are informed. The woman by having the child has assumed responsibility for the child. The man would have automatic shared legal custody, and shared parenting time available to him. He would have the choice to exercise this right, but there should be some way for her to be legally indemnify herself if he chooses not to, so she can make decisions as the sole legal guardian. The parent caring for the child is responsible for the normal costs while caring for the child. Now I don’t let the man off the hook, because I think he bears no responsibility, but because he has no power up until the time he is allowed to participate in the child’s life. I also don’t accept that most men would just walk out on their kids. Most men are going to make sure their kids are taken care of without the threat of jack booted thugs and prison. Mom would be responsible for education and medical expenses, but I assure you that most men of character will be taking up a good part of the slack, if for no other reason that with the money goes the power. They want a say in their kids life, and not paying for things takes away that say. This is a concept lost in most discussions on child support. Child support as it functions today takes away the father’s say in most things, because he pays mom to make those decisions. This part of the idea is that women will need to be responsible for their actions. Right now they are not. Its a fact that women are the gatekeepers of sex, so they have the final choice of whether sex is going to happen. I wager under these terms, there are far fewer unwed births, and women will be more concerned with the character of the man with his penis in her, than his abs and penis length or even his checking ballence. I don’t want to hear anything about rape. Rape is a violent crime, and it should be treated as such, and it is such a small percentage of these cases that writing law to account for rape as if its the norm treats every man as a rapist. That’s un-American.

The next part of this is for married couples going through divorce. Now we will presume that they have through the contract of marriage agreed to raise the children together. One parent will get designated the responsible parent for what is often referred to as direct expenses. That parent by default should be the higher wage earner, because they are best equipped to pay the expenses if for some reason the other parent isn’t keeping up with the judgement against them. The lesser wage earner will then through the marital settlement provide for their portion of direct expenses. It could be through an unequal division of assets or a judgement against them based simply on the current costs of school and medical check ups for the remaining years the kids haven’t reached the age of majority. The assumption being that its up to the parent paying to set aside the money and let it grow with interest to cover inflation, and that in a judgement there would be interest penalties for the amount of time it takes to pay off the judgement to cover those costs. An agreement to split additional medical costs for the kids will be included in the divorce settlement. Presumed shared residency, unless the parties agree differently. Time doesn’t change the financial arrangements in this. If there is a judgement, and the lesser wage earner is unable or unwilling to pay, then seeking civil court remedies for payment would be the course. It would provide a significant incentive to have the issue fully settled during the divorce, and not have the judgement. What the parents earn doesn’t matter. Just where they live to determine the expenses for the kids.

This all of course means that Title IV provisions for child support would have to be thrown out. If you didn’t have a previous contract a.k.a. marriage contract to raise a family together, then you have no legal recourse for any support of the kids. This has two side effects; less promiscuity and out of wedlock births; no more enslaving a man for a bad choice for 18 years or more. It encourages women to seek a secure relationship before having sex with a man, and it encourages the ones who don’t to form a good parenting relationship with the father of their child. He now has a choice to be involved or not. A woman who isn’t holding him hostage through the courts is much more likely to have an agreeable co-parent. The second part just means that when the divorce is over, its over. Its all decided. There is no going back to get more from the cookie jar. The parent most able to pay has been put in the position to pay. They are jointly responsible for raising the kids, and for middle class and better families it will be mean there is no more money changing hands. The poorer will have to deal with the judgement, but it will work much like a credit debt. Which yes, means that it will be bankrupt-able. I might propose that bankruptcy laws put child support judgement at the top of the list for repayment through bankruptcy, but nothing further than that. It would pretty much eliminate the woman who has children with multiple men and then lives off child support. These women are almost always the lower earner in the couple(regardless of the income bracket), and thus will need to maintain a job to pay the judgement. Now if the parent responsible for paying expenses is not doing so, then a civil case should be opened, and the remaining judgement should be reversed and put on the higher earning parent, and the lower earning parent would now have the responsibility to pay for the so called direct expenses.

As for the time the parents have with the kids, well this should be presumed as being equal and up to the parents to figure out. The court should not maintain an open case to deal with this. If there is a problem that the parents can’t manage, it should be a new case each time, and the court should be very careful about limiting time. There would be no need to file anything with the court regarding the time parents have, because there is no money issues to go along with it. The court should only manage cases where the parents cannot.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Child Support Changes Everything

E3 2010 PS3 Motion - This Changes Everything

I get tired of the trite argument that a man needs to support his kids. First of all, why is it suddenly the governments business how I choose to support my kids. Why is it as a man married to the mother of my children, I have freedom, but if I am not married to her, I do not. This sets the stage for what no man wants to admit. We are disposable. We don’t matter. Society does not value us. Our freedom is either determined by either having no children or the type of connection we have with the mother of our children. Once there are children involved, then their mother has almost all the say in the amount of freedom we have. She can often decide the nature of the relationship you will have with your children. She can decide if you are her wage slave through the children. If you were never married to her, you have even less power in how these things are decided. I cannot explain how heavy the burden is of paying child support. If you have never had to pay child support, then you will not understand. I hope that you never do. Many men just accept it, and move on. It is the way things are. I for some reason cannot do that. I am not built that way, I guess. I cannot get over the fact that my value in my kids life is boiled down to some fraction of my salary. This is what matters most. Worst of all, none of this gets checked by higher courts. Divorce court isn’t truly a court of law, though they have been given legal authority to rule on many aspects of our life. It is also sad that so much of this revolves around the amount of time you spend with your kids. The kids standard of living becomes the business of the court in the USA. A lot of evil has come from this idea.

Lets examine CS a little bit. I will use my case for sample numbers, but I will be running some different scenarios as I use these numbers. Mom earns $57,000 and Dad earn $90,000 for this example. We have four kids where one between 6 and 11 and three between 12 and 18. We will assume that for tax estimates purposes that The dad’s tax rate is around 30% and the Mom’s is around 25%.

MOM HAS FULL RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY:

Dad Dad Totals Mom Mom Totals
Salary $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $4,750.00 $4,750.00
Estimated Taxes -$2,250.00 $5,250.00 -$1,187.50 $3,562.50
Child Support -$2,404.00 $2,846.00 $2,404.00 $5,966.50

Mom is responsible for 100% of direct expenses which currently seem to be school related expenses only.
Dad is responsible for 60% of health related costs and mom is responsible for 40%
Mom is responsible for clothing

This scenario is where most men currently land. They may have equal time, but the term given to it is liberal visitation. Mom has roughly $72K/year to spend as she pleases. This is the equivalent of someone who earns $93K/year. Dad on the other hand has roughly $34K/year to spend as he pleases. This is the equivalent of someone who earns $43K/year. Some people might think, not bad for a single guy. There is only one problem. He is still more responsible for medical costs than mom is. There is also very little he can do to enforce that mom provide enough clothing for the kids when they are at his house, and he has to maintain a house that is large enough for all these kids or he won’t be allowed near equal time. Here is the other problem. She has 100% of the decision making power, because she has all the money to spend for the kids. Forget all the mess about shared legal custody. Its the person who pays the bills who gets the say in this world. Dad has been relegated to baby sitter in his kids lives, or at least legally that is what he is. The rest is up to mom. It is rare, but yes the reverse could happen the following table shows the numbers if dad has full residential custody. Mom ends of with the spending power of someone who earns around $30K/year, and dad ends up with the spending power of someone who earns around $106K/year. Its no where near the imbalance that you see when money goes from the lesser earner to the greater earner, but I would argue that is equally as unfair. The Dad then become responsible for clothes and direct expenses and the split on health care stays the same.

Dad Dad Totals Mom Mom Totals
Salary $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $4,750.00 $4,750.00
Estimated Taxes -$2,250.00 $5,250.00 -$1,187.50 $3,562.50
Child Support $1,524.00 $6,774.00 -$1,524.00 $2,038.50

MOM AND DAD HAVE SHARED RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY:

Dad Dad Totals Mom Mom Totals
Salary $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $4,750.00 $4,750.00
Estimated Taxes -$2,250.00 $5,250.00 -$1,187.50 $3,562.50
Child Support -$1,147.00 $4,103.00 $1,147.00 $4,709.50

Mom is responsible for 100% of direct expenses which currently seem to be school related expenses only.
Dad is responsible for 60% of health related costs and mom is responsible for 40%
Mom is responsible for clothing

This scenario is better. Mom has the spending power of someone earning $71K/year and dad has the spending power of someone earning $62K/year. Typically the man is held to account for extra-curricular activities here. Usually split or at the same percentage as health care. This is something that in the above scenario is usually true, but its not enforced. I have found that it is marginally cheaper for the dad, because there are more expenses, and now he must have a home large enough for everyone. What we have is a major income shift for a minimal amount of expenses. It doesn’t look like much, but spread it across the year and you have over $7K/year difference. The expenses related directly to public schooling are not that expensive. They are probably half of that or just a little more if you are paying for school lunches, which depending on your agreement and judge may or may not be considered a direct expense. It certainly is possible for mom to decide that lunches will be packed, and transfer the expense of providing lunches to the dad on dad’s days with the kids regardless of how it is interpreted by the judge. There is a better balance in this scenario. She can still choose not to provide enough clothing, and you are left with little recourse, but to purchase clothing on your own. What is most bothersome is that she is never actually responsible for children’s expenses. Dad pays mom to then pay her portion, and then dad pays his portion. The expenses of the children are 100% covered by the father, and the father supplements the lifestyle of the mother’s household while also supporting his own. Shared residency in my state requires that the higher earner pay child support unless the court rules otherwise. The court almost never does, but if it did, she would $0 in child support to the father.

MOM AND DAD HAVE SHARED RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY AND EACH PARENT BUYS CLOTHING:

Dad Dad Totals Mom Mom Totals
Salary $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $4,750.00 $4,750.00
Estimated Taxes -$2,250.00 $5,250.00 -$1,187.50 $3,562.50
Child Support -$1,068.00 $4,182.00 $1,068.00 $4,630.50

Mom is responsible for 100% of direct expenses which currently seem to be school related expenses only.
Dad is responsible for 60% of health related costs and mom is responsible for 40%

It gets better. This is about the same as above with the exception you now have to buy clothing for the kids as the father. For 4 kids this is $79/month. This is not a lot, but realistically it would meet the basic needs for having the kids half the time. Again if you flip who pays direct expenses then Dad gets $0 in child support. Mom has the spending power of someone who earns around $70K/year and dad has the spending power of someone who earns about $63K/year.

MOM AND DAD HAVE SHARED RESIDENTIAL CUSTODY AND EACH PARENT BUYS CLOTHING AND THEY SHARE DIRECT EXPENSES:

Dad Dad Totals Mom Mom Totals
Salary $7,500.00 $7,500.00 $4,750.00 $4,750.00
Estimated Taxes -$2,250.00 $5,250.00 -$1,187.50 $3,562.50
Child Support -$440.00 $4,810.00 $440.00 $4,002.50

Dad is responsible for 60% of health related costs and mom is responsible for 40%
Dad is responsible for 60% of direct expenses and mom is responsible for 40%

This one is the most telling. Basically it says that dad, because he makes more money is responsible for paying mom $440/month or just over $5K/year to improve her lifestyle. In our life this is about the same as the kids typical expenses would be with extra-curricular activities. Mom has the spending power of someone who earns $60K/year and dad has the spending power of someone who earns $72K/year. What stands out to me, is she is never required to spend any of her own earned money on the children. She gets the money from dad to spend on the kids, and then dad also has to pay.

Why Does it Matter

There are plenty of reasons that CS is evil. There is the aspect that it indentures the father to the mother until the children are grown. Understand this isn’t an overstatement. This was its intent. CS started in an era where women were responsible for raising the kids with the man’s resources. A woman who was divorced was not going to be able to raise the kids. If a man abandoned his family, then the state was saying he was going to be held to account for them. This was also an era where if the man divorced the woman, and chose to keep the kids, he would be allowed to, and she would have to find her own way. None of this fits the modern era. Men are active parents. I would argue that they always were to some degree. It was only in the early years that men didn’t take an active role in the child rearing. Men and women may have had very different roles in raising children, but men were active. If they weren’t then there would be far fewer fond memories written about and shared about fathers. CS ultimately delivers the power to the recipient. They are given the power of the other person’s pocketbook, and its enforced by the power of the state. This is evil. For the government to decide, in a free society, that one person matters more than another is evil. CD tells one parent that your kids are going to cost you a specific amount of money based on what you earn, and the other parent is going to determine how to spend that. The other parent has no accountability as to how much they actually spend on the children, and a frugal woman can keep most of the money for her own use. The argument that all the money benefits the child may be true, but it is equally true that if the father kept the money in a shared residency circumstance. Its just that the mother doesn’t benefit. It is also evil that the party that chooses to terminate the relationship stands to benefit from the other party in the termination.

I want to play with the numbers some more. I want to see what point does her raising her income become a benefit. Just a cursory glance shows that she would need a significant jump in income to make up for the lost child support with an increase. Since increasing her income would mean working more hours and having more responsibility, there is significant friction to her taking any action to better her life on her own. Only a woman who is long sighted enough to realize that the money falls off quickly, and they will have to live off what they earn when the kids are grown will see the benefit of earning enough to eliminate most of the child support that is paid to them. Look for a future number crunching post to show how that might play out.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Being Non-Custodial

DV Benes

What does it mean to be non-custodial? It can mean a lot of things. The term is used to apply to anyone who pays child support. Lets look at my situation. Its a modern example of how the system is dysfunctional, and that the system isn’t at all about taking care of the children involved, but it is about taking care of the women. There has been a big shift in my state in the last few years. The legislature has recognized that the modern family has two involved parents and they are encouraging judgments that are in favor of shared parenting. This is a 50/50 timeshare of the kids or some approximating this. To get this, the parents need to be intentional when the process starts, because a judge isn’t going to change things much once a pattern has been established. If the mother is trying to hoard the kids time, then the father needs to take action right away to change things, or he will be stuck with what has been established. To go along with this new understanding of family, they have changed the child support calculators to include provisions for shared parenting. I give them credit for this move, but it is not nearly enough, but it does clearly demonstrate the overall problem with the child support calculators in most states. The truth is child support is too high in every case that I have seen. I know that is a small sampling, but I have played with the numbers from more than a few states to see how things could have been different, and they are high everywhere I have checked things out.

How does my state modify things for a parent in shared parenting? Sorry, I am not going to reveal which state I am in, but just understand that other states are doing similar things, and that the concepts are not unique. The new calculators for shared parenting kick in when you have near equal time share with the kids. It does not make it clear what is near enough, so the judge gets to decide. For some courts this is good, and others it is bad for the fathers seeking this arrangement. Its not really different than the old arrangement with liberal visitation. Its been common for a long time that men with liberal visitation has had near equal time with the kids, but the mother has had significant control over whether that is allowed or not. Now basically they apply a 20% discount for the non-custodial parent, and the custodial parent is responsible for direct expenses. No where is direct expenses explained. If the parents agree to each supply clothing, then there is another discount of about 4% applied to the child support. Direct expenses do not include medical, dental, or other health care costs. They do not include extra-curricular activities outside of school, and maybe inside of school. These are listed strangely under special needs expenses which are also not considered direct expenses. Medical expenses are expected to be divided based at the same proportion as the gross income of the parents differ. The non-custodial parent is defined in my states law as the parent who earns more money. That is it. Nothing else is used to determine this.

The end result is I get to pay for things twice. Pretty much everything. My child support didn’t go down, because under the old arrangement men would pay child support, and usually the court wouldn’t require any other payment from him unless there was an extraordinary expense involved. I pay $1000/month in child support for kids. I then pay 64% of health related costs and 50% of sports and extra-curricular costs. She pays the school expenses and the other portions of these costs. Before I was responsible for child support, I paid for all the kids expenses at 100%. Sometimes these reached the $1000 mark, but usually not. Typical expenses in a month are close though. So I pay her $1000 and then pay my proportions, which are about another $500-$600. If you do the rest of the math, this leaves her with about $500-$600 in her pocket even after paying for lunches for the kids, which she could decide to only do for the days they are with her. After paying taxes, child support, retirement loan for marital debt, and health insurance is I have about $3500 dollars a month to pay for my rent utilities and these kids expenses. To put in perspective to her income, she takes home about the same amount from her pay checks, and then gets another $2400 tax free between CS and other government checks.

As I have laid out above, there is an extreme imbalance in the reality of CS and the actual costs of raising the children. I might be able to accept this. We have certainly made some strides in the right direction for men protecting their rights with their children, but there is just one huge problem with this experience. I am under constant threat of court order to pay this amount. It doesn’t matter what my job situation is. I have lost my freedom to decide on these things. The activities that my kids are involved in are somewhat locked into place. I can’t decide that I can no longer afford them. I have can be sent to jail for having a budget change. I can lose my drivers license or have money removed directly from my checking and savings accounts. I am in fact indentured to my ex-wife through my children. I am her servant. I am required to work to ensure she is paid. I have less freedom than I had when married to her for the next decade, and she has greater freedom. She can continue to choose to work at a job that for all practical purposes is a part time job. There is no pressure on her to improve her financial condition. If I choose to improve mine, then I am then obligated to improve hes. This is a major disincentive to move up in my career. The only thing that is a driver to do better in my career right now, is that I need to make some moves or I will be the guy who gets overlooked forever.

As a father, I live with the constant threat of the court over my head. I live with the fear that she may win the battle for more time, and take even more of my paycheck. The slippery slope that will lead to me not being able to maintain a home large enough for them to visit me, and thus give her more ammunition to further reduce my time, and further tap my paycheck. I have to continue the fight for my kids. A fight that no father should have to fight. I have to pretend with my kids that everything is okay. That me and their mom don’t have problems. I can’t tell them how she has treated me, because that would be alienation of affection. I can’t do a lot of things. When people look at divorce and wonder why men are bitter, they need to understand that men are effectively slaves to their ex-wives for the time their children are growing up. This is why men are bitter. Ask a black man what the legacy of slavery has done to his life, and then understand that in the modern world, all men are subject to slavery through their children to the mothers of their children. This is why men are so bitter. This is why men can’t get over their divorce. It isn’t because women are emotionally stronger and more capable of dealing with the loss of divorce. Its because for the men it is never ending until their children are 18 years old.

Being non-custodial means being a second class citizen. Your children and their mother are superior to you under the law. People can argue this case otherwise, but the fact is proven in the number of men that are subject to this system. I will recommend to my sons that they don’t have children. That they don’t subject themselves to this burden of slavery that we call fatherhood. I love my children very much, and I would not like to imagine a life without them, but I would be free to make my own decisions if I had never had them. I would not turn back time, but I would protect those I love from this fate. I hope to change things before that time comes for them, but if things do not change, then I will recommend they choose freedom from slavery over this. I am not as good of a father as I might be without this burden.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

I Won’t Live Alone In A Cave

The Cliff Dwellers (1906)

All too often the suggestions I hear come down to two things. One is go fuck as many women as you can. That is fun for about a minute. I am not that guy. Never have been. The other is to go my own way. Now this is appealing in some ways, it doesn’t solve the problems that I have in my life. If I were a young man without kids, I would consider this the way to go now. Make sure I can’t have kids, and disengage from the life chosen for me, and do whatever the fuck I want to.

The problem is, I do have kids, and I like the companionship of a woman. I do have a red pill view of these relationships, but I don’t see them as being something I can’t have. I just have to understand the risks that I face as I enter into these relationships. The big solution to the problem is that I could crawl into a cave and spend my time with my kids and hang out alone when they aren’t around. This is depressing. I might get some reading and writing done, but I would be unsatisfied. I do plan on doing these things, but I want a partner.

So now I am faced with building a relationship and knowing the score. I know the female nature. I also know what I am willing to accept from a woman, and what I want. All woman in my life will demonstrate jealousy of the time I spend with my kids when they aren’t “mine”. This manifests itself usually as jealousy towards my ex. It really is jealousy of the time and that I sometimes have to get up and leave. My ex uses this to cause problems, and I do have to learn better ways to mitigate the situations. She is a manipulator and likes to create strife. There isn’t much I can do about that, because she is willing to use the kids to get her way. This is not good for anyone involved. All it does is score her a win. Its not even good for her.

I understand how men walk away from their kids. Its not fair to the kids, but there is a limit to how much a man can take. There is a limit to how beneficial his presence is, when a vindictive woman is manipulating things on the other end. When the kids come to you and are treating you like crap, what do you do. When no amount of discipline teaches them what they need to know, because the other parent is working against you, there is a time where you have to say that I can’t fix the damage under these circumstances. Its the heart wrenching decision that has to be made sometimes. These men are broken and torn apart, and society will heap more and more shame on them for this decision. As I have gone through this process of divorce in my life, I have developed a new compassion for these men. Most of them are not the man who drops a litter and runs from town to town. Most are good men, who want nothing more than to be with their kids.

I have a lot more on my mind, but for now.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Rash Decisions Early in Separation

Decisions, Decisions

My life came crumbling apart. My hopes and dreams were being destroyed forever. I was being faced with a life that I never wanted for me or my children. This was a life that I had clung to far beyond its reality. The reasons and much of the process are recorded in the blog. If you are interested read them. Much of my writing come out of my tears and anger, and the process of clearing myself of these emotions to move forward to the next steps in my life. These are processes that most men have to do on their own when they face the same problems in life.

My first reaction was to cling too hard. I thought a lot of “if only” thoughts. I fought to get her to stay. This was a purely emotional response. Men need to understand that by the time she has told you she wants a divorce, she has at the very least had fantasies of the moment. She is firmly planted on the idea. She more than likely has a plan and she may go along with you for some of these things, but she will execute the plan. Mine had not planned much beyond getting out of the house with me. She went to counseling and all the other things I asked, but she still moved out on her original schedule. The right thing to do when she says she wants a divorce is not to panic. It is simply to ask what her plan is, and remain as disinterested as possible. It is unlikely anything that you do at this point fixes your marriage, but if there is any hope of re-capturing her heart, it is in showing that you are going to be just fine without her. Marriage counseling is generally for chumps. It isn’t effective, and the advice you will usually get comes down to you aren’t doing enough things she wants you to do, but if you look at your lifestyle, she determines what you do most of the time. Man up and do what you want to do. Set boundaries while you are still in the house, and take charge of how your family is going to split. If she is truly determined to leave, then you will have some control of the process. If she is not determined to leave, then you are showing the masculine traits she needs to see to be attracted to you.

We lived twenty miles outside the nearest suburb. She wanted to move into the suburbs when she left. She changed the kids schools and moved. I probably could have stopped her, and maybe I should have. That doesn’t matter so much as I didn’t even evaluate what was best for me and the kids. I could have made a lot of choices here. Changing schools is a joint decision. I could have immediately gone to court for temporary orders to require them to stay in their current schools. Maybe I should have. I won’t know the answer to that, but I didn’t even think about it. I was responding to her plan and actions. I saw some value in the move. All the kids activities were too far away from home. We had talked about moving before we talked about divorce, so it was reasonable. Boy what a trap that can be. Try arguing with a reasonable suggestion. Its tough. Its hard to argue that because of this change, I don’t want to do the other thing that we already agreed might be good.

I tried parenting from this town, but it was hard. I was scattered, and she spent the mortgage to move without telling me. I could have negotiated a new deal with the bank, and maybe I should have. I would have a house that is large enough for me and my girlfriend and all of our kids. They could all have their own room, which is an amazing thing. I loved the house. It fit my personality. If I had known she would move again a year later, I probably would have. I should have guessed that she would, but I wasn’t thinking much about things. I was just reacting. The bank would have offered me a new loan that is cheaper than anything I can rent now.

I tell you this, not so much because I regret the decision, but because I want men to think before the act. Stop reacting, and start making decisions based on the new circumstance. Don’t get railroaded by a woman who has been plotting for six months or more for this moment. She has the edge because of this, so slow down and really think about it. It is too late to save your marriage, so don’t run down that path, because it wastes precious time. If there is a chance to save the marriage, it will happen by you being assertive and direct in handling this circumstance. She says she wants a divorce, so go get a lawyer. File temporary orders that grant you equal time, the house, reasonable child support payments or none if you think you can make that work with her. Take charge and get the ball rolling. Don’t play softball, be a man. The divorce ball doesn’t need to run any faster after that, but now you have sure footing guaranteed by the courts. None of this prevents her from false abuse allegations, and if she is of that low of a character, then good luck. You can only hope that she is terribly inconsistent and you will prevail in court.

Once you have the first pieces in place, then take your time and do as much as you can without lawyers. This will save a fortune. I didn’t get those things in place, and when she filed, she tried to extract a large amount of child support. Thankfully the courts don’t respond quickly, so even though the orders were in place we negotiated a different deal that will hold from here on out. In the final orders any arrears can be cleared with a court order.

She had the first choice of stuff as she moved out. She didn’t take the newer furniture, and is pissed she made that decision, but we each got enough stuff. I don’t care if it was fair or not. There was no making both of totally happy. When I moved there was a ton of things left at the house. We took our time and took things as we saw the need. Ultimately she took more than me, but on the first move, I got what I cared about. Our stuff is thus divided with no real arguments. A few complaints, but no arguments. We will codify that in the divorce decree and its done.

I have written this over a course of a few days. It may not be totally congruent, but I am going to end it here. Slow down fellas, and make sure you are acting not reacting through the end of your marriage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Child Support Power Shift

I used to have Super Human Powers

Now lets understand that I am speaking from a perspective of equal or nearly equal parenting time. I do believe that these principles apply in a larger context, but I know that they apply in this context. I think it is a pretty simple idea that money does equate to power. All other arguments aside child support is a shift in power in the parenting relationship. Some might say that it is a fair one, because neither parent should have greater power. There might be some truth to this, but not really. Its a surface argument that really doesn’t hold much water, because of human nature. The relationship already had some power boundary lines, and thus this is a change in power not maintaining marital power structures when dealing with children. Lets not pretend that a father who is actively engaged with his children is going to actively avoid his financial responsibilities without the weight of the court making him. This just isn’t the case for most men.

The System

We understand that as a rule men pay women child support. There are few exceptions to this rule, but statistically they are insignificant for what we are talking about. So the man is required to shift his power to this woman that he already is in a contentious relationship with. Now the system is set up such that the father doesn’t pay the mother, but he pays the state, and the state pays the mother, and if the father fails to pay, then there will be severe consequences down the road. Now the system has chosen sides. They are on the side of the other. They don’t care if the father can sustain a house for his family, they only care for whether the mother can. The court may not agree, but you have to get to court to fix it. The system is transparently anti-father. The only protection the father has, is the mother cannot claim that he is not paying when he does pay, but in most cases he doesn’t have a choice, because it is taken straight out of his paycheck before he ever gets to see it.

Right to Determine Your Financial Future

Lets say a father loses his job or has a reduction in pay. It is his responsibility to take that to court and get a change in support orders. He won’t have as much money to do this, and is in a position where any savings he has is precious to make it through the income change. Until such time that there is a change, he still has to pay the previous order. If the judge decides that he is lazy or shirking his responsibilities to his children then he might be ordered to maintain support at current levels. He does not have a choice to seek lesser employment to have more time with his kids, because the payments will surely not change. He no longer has the right to work as much or as little as he pleases, because it was established that he is required to support his kids at a minimum level determined by the court when the child support order was originally issued. This of course was a freedom that he had when he was married to the mother. To be clear, once a child support order is in place, the man loses his right to determine his lifestyle unless he chooses to improve his financial position. He must also understand that every time that he chooses to improve his financial position, he also chooses to improve the mother of his children’s position, because she will go after more child support. The child support guidelines state that they are seeking to maintain the children’s lifestyle after divorce, but if that were merely the case, then increased income would have no bearing on future child support orders. All orders would be based on the income levels of the father at the time of separation of the parents.

Now lets reverse things. The mother decides to work less or earn less or is fired or has a forced reduction in pay, what happens? Well in many cases, the system will increase the father’s child support. In some cases it will have to go to court, but it is rare that they impute income on the mother and maintain support at the current levels. There are cases where she remarries a man who can provide for her to stay at home, and the father is then required to pay child support as if she has no earnings. I do believe that these cases are becoming rarer and rarer, but they do exist. The thing is, if she doesn’t take it to court or the system, she just chooses to stop working, then she is magically no longer required to provide her portion of the child’s support. There is no government agency charged with ensuring that she is earning the money and providing it to the children’s benefit. She is free to make these decisions in her life, and even if the court imputes income on her, she can simply adjust her budget based on the loss of income. So in the worst cases the father pays if the mother has a change in income, and in the best cases she is not penalized by her behavior any further than she has to herself.

The Children’s Perception

There are two ways that this goes. The first is this. Mom provide everything. The father has paid for not only the kids needs but a chunk of the mother’s lifestyle through child support. He has provided on top of that things the children don’t see, but the child sees mom providing everything. She pays for school fees, she pays for activities, she pays for all the tangible things that the children see. They don’t know or understand that their dad is paying for these things through their mother. Depending on the mother involved, she may or may not leverage this to her advantage, but very few will correct their children’s perspective on the issue.

The other way goes like this. The mother constantly informs the kids that their father isn’t paying enough in child support. That they cannot do the things they want to, because dad doesn’t pay enough. She creates a constant divide between the father and the child using child support as the tool. This is direct manipulation and it is cruel to all involved. It is also a tool that the father is not able to use with the children. This is a tool that only the person paid child support has.

Justice

The only justice is a natural one. Men have to figure out how to live on less than they actually earn. They have to find a way to make ends meet, and over time develop better spending habits. They get their life together, and over time make do with this new life. As the children grow up and leave the house, the father will no longer have to pay child support, but now have a lifestyle that doesn’t require that money. At that point they can start to use that money to bolster retirement and other savings that they had neglected to support the mother of their children.

The flip side of this, is the mother has this money coming in, and it abruptly stops as the kids grow into adults. They have a lifestyle that required this money, but they no longer have a legal right to that money. They go deep into debt and have an end result of them not being able to make ends meet. Her cushy life living off her ex has come to an end. Not all women fall to this plight. The few good ones actually use the money for their children only and don’t bolster their lifestyle using the money at all. They come out alright, but in truth these women tend to take different routes like the one I will mention next in the modern divorce paradigm.

A Better Way

The modern world is not so harsh to women in the work place. When they put in the work, they will achieve like the men or better. The system should assume that people who are parenting together can figure out the day to day expenses together. It should assume that unless the parents agree to something different, that all expenses for school, activities and healthcare is going to be split 50/50. No power shift here. Most men who do earn more than the other parent will pay more to ensure their kids are taken care of. Remember we are talking about men who are involved in their children’s life. I would further suggest that the proportion should be based on the time you spend with the kids. A deadbeat dad would be a dad who spends no time with his kids. Mom foots the bill for everything in this case. There currently is a financial advantage to having the kids more, so mother’s will argue for more time, knowing that more money will come their way. A mother who has the kids 80% of the time should have to pay 80% of the expenses. Allow social pressures of fathers who want less involvement to get them to support their children. In my opinion, the time with the children is much more valuable than the money. The system should assume that time is 50/50, and in turn that expenses are 50/50. This would be a fair result. This allows for both parents to determine their futures without influence from the other parent by using the courts and the system against them.

I know this is not perfect, and it would mean that in the cases where a woman is truly abandoned with her children the system would have be more involved in providing for them. I think the freedom that the average guy would have in this is so much more important. Right now divorce equates to loss of freedom for the man in most cases. He no longer has complete freedom in determining his future. This is not good for society, and it is leading to the the upcoming generation of men choosing to not engage in productive activities that lead to having families. Not only is this not good for society, but it ultimately is not good for them. I can’t argue that they should make a different decision in this culture.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Child Support Is a Racket

broken racket

I have stated before that I don’t believe in child support. My stance is one that would put many custodial parents on the public dole instead of leaving the the non-custodial parent scraping for change. What child support does is insane, though. Lets look at my case. I just finished negotiating things with the ex, and I got what everyone considers a great deal. That is such crap, because my deal is great only because everyone else gets such a shitty deal. Its simply a comparative response to my situation, not someone really looking at fairness. There is a $50,000 difference in our incomes. This sounds huge, until you consider the fact that she has teachers hours. She doesn’t have an 8 hour day, and gets a ton of days off. Even when compared to my cushy government job, she only works about 28-30 hours a week when spread across the year. She works typically only 75% of the hours a year that I do.

Below is the a table showing just how our child support plays out.

This table shows how she gets two government checks. That increase her income by another $16,440. These were used in our calculation. Because she couldn’t budget I added another $87 a month to cover before school expenses. I will be responsible for 1/2 of all extra-curricular expenses and 61% of all uncovered health expenses. And if the school fees exceed $1200, then I will cover 1/2 of those excess fees as well. I will buy clothing and cover all normal expenses at my house. Now according to this table, you see that I have $9510 in income greater than her after all this. This doesn’t sound like such a horrible deal. Now remember these are all gross numbers. Child support has no effect on taxes for either of us. Also remember that those government checks are tax free checks as well. The bottom row shows the new proportions which would be more fair to pay at this point, but it all goes back to the gross income numbers in the earlier row.

Now here is a table that shows things with some tax values on these numbers.

This table has changed the cost of my child support to represent roughly what it costs me out of my gross. It also revalues her government checks to what they would be if they were taxable income netting the values in the first table. The proportions just at the first row before child support is a few percent different, but then after child support they should be nearly 50/50. There is a $12,132 dollar swing in the actual household available funds. She ends up with $2,622 more money at the end of the year than I do. Child support has effectively leveled our incomes and then some.

Now before anyone goes stupid on me for not wanting to support my kids, understand that I have the kids 50% of the time. I participate in their lives even when they are not at my home. I am as active as I ever was with them. I have the ability to pay all of their expenses out of pocket. This scheme has made my kids more expensive to me than they were before, because I pay many of the expenses twice. I pay her to pay them, and I pay them. Lets also understand that just looking at the gross numbers, that is a $24,000 swing in income from one parent to the other.

There are many people out there that will attempt to explain to me that this somehow right and fair, but it is not. In my state, this predetermined to go to the lower income worker, and statistically we all know that will be the mother. I can’t get a divorce with kids and not pay my ex for the privilege for the rest of my children’s childhood. If these terms are brought back to court after the divorce, I will be asking for straight guidelines. This will mean that I pay child support, and portions of the healthcare. The rest is her problem.

I had offered to pay all of the kids expenses. 100% as they came up. Just don’t go the child support route. I have an extreme problem with the government taking money from me to give to her to do the same thing that I can do anyway. She went after child support, and an amount much higher than what the government standards were. I knew I probably couldn’t trust her, so now she has proven that I cannot trust her. I have to go fighting for everything as we go from here on out. I really have no peace about this. She will cost me by the time this is all over a minimum of $1,000,000 dollars. A decision I made at 23 years old, and then stubbornness to stick to that decision with honor even when others would have walked will cost me a fortune. None of that even accounts for the fact that I also will have to constantly battle her attempts to alienate me from my children.

I don’t know how to combat this. I am looking for options. I will be contacting my representatives and going after them for making sound decisions that protect men’s rights during divorce, and limit the transfer of income between the parents. In the modern world, it is not reasonable for both parties not to be held to account for the financial responsibility of their kids. The guidelines most states use on paper give those very words credence, but then the guidelines don’t actually make it happen, because typically the largest earner, yes the father, is required to send more money than the kids expenses to the lower income earner, yes the mother, to pay the bills. Oh and if that amount of money is higher than what the actual expenses are, then its explained that the money can be used however she pleases. Child support is right, I have to support 5 children. The three I adopted, the one I created, and the one I am divorcing.

This whole thing ultimately will prevent me from getting ahead in the world financially for the next ten years. You see all the money that I might have been able to find to save is going to that woman to spend as she pleases. I can’t hope that she will save any for my kids education, and I can’t afford to pay for it myself. My life will be a constant financial struggle, and I make enough money that shouldn’t be the case. I hate her for that. I won’t get over the damage she had done to my family and my and their futures.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Hard Lesson Learned

Lesotho - Maseru Qoaling School - John Hogg - 090626 (14)

I tried hard to get an agreement with my wife that worked for both of us. I was informed this morning that she filed for divorce. I spent most of the day stressing over what she put in the temporary orders. Something that of course we haven’t needed for the last almost two years to make things work. She has now gone after child support based on bogus numbers. Child support that will if I can’t get it fixed put me in a position that I cannot afford to continue to live where I live now. I live in a 3 bedroom duplex. When I have my kids there are 5 of us in this duplex. On top of that I am expected to pay 1/2 of all their expenses. Literally child support doesn’t pay for their extra-curricular, school, or medical expenses. I know this is not a shocker to anyone reading this, but it pisses me off that I am supposed to pay those in proportion to our gross incomes, but after child support her monthly income is greater than mine. This just reinforces to me that child support is bogus in most cases where the father is actively involved. I have the kids 1/2 the time or better. I will not be able to maintain a home that can fit my family when this is done. I continue to cut expenses hoping to get ahead, yet my ex keeps finding ways to increase my expenses related to children. I hate her. I really do. I can’t even say she changed. I was blind to what she was. She is truly a horrible human being, and only cares for herself.

I was hoping to stay off using the adversarial system, but she has changed the game on that. Greed of course has driven her. I stand to lose in this system. The question is by how much do I stand to lose. I hope that I can afford a lawyer that can do something to limit that loss. If not, then I stand to lose time with my children, because I will paying for all their shit. I am sure that they will love me for that, because stuff is really what matters. Not time with their father. If I am lucky, I will have a wonderful new wife/girlfriend who will at least tell them how great I am while I work my second and third job to pay the home they stay in when they are with me. I actually do have a girlfriend who is pretty great, and much better with a limited budget than I am. I can hope that she really does figure out some ways to help me out there. We plan on combining households this summer. I was nervous about it before, but now it seems that may be the only way I can find a way out of this mess. I do love her, and she seems to be in every way the opposite of my ex, so at least she brings new problems to the table if there are some.

I am disgusted that in divorce the children are used as the leverage for me to continue to pay for the lifestyle of a woman who chose not to be with me. I can only hope that she remains as bad at budgeting as she is now, and that she is blindsided as the kids age out of support, and she goes bankrupt and miserable alone with a bunch of fucking cats she can’t feed anymore. I know that sounds awful, but as it stands now my divorce will cost me half a million dollars when you consider that amount of money that I have to send to her in the name of the kids. Money I could just as easily just pay the expenses with. Instead I have to pay her. What does this do? This shifts the balance of power to her. The person with the money has the power. The government ensures that women get the power.

Ten-Foured,

JeD